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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
goes for elections without reforms
Caiphas Chimhete, The Standard (Zimbabwe)
July 07, 2013
goes to polls in three weeks’ time with the scales tilting
in favour of Zanu PF as no major reforms were enacted to level the
playing field since the violent
and disputed elections in 2008, analysts have said.
by the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) last week that harmonised
elections be held at the end of this month effectively ruled out
the possibility of the reforms being implemented before the polls.
It said the
polls should take place on July 31 in line with a proclamation
by President Robert Mugabe.
also said reforms were no longer possible because Parliament
was dissolved last month before it had enacted a raft of democratic
reforms that could have ensured that elections are held in a free
and fair environment.
environment, they noted, favours Zanu PF as it controls the electoral
systems, State media and security forces that have propped Mugabe
in past elections.
A Sadc summit
held in Mozambique
last month directed that amendments to the Electoral
Act which had been made into law by Mugabe using the Presidential
Powers (Temporal Measures) Act be brought to parliament for
debate and adoption.
It also called
for the appointment of an Inter-Ministerial Committee to deal with
implementation of agreed issues on media reform, monitoring of hate
speech in all media and that security forces publicly restate their
commitment to the rule of law and adherence to the constitution.
There were supposed
to be amendments to the Public
Order and Security Act (POSA), Access
to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), the Broadcasting
Act and section 121 of the Criminal
Procedure and Evidence Act before the elections.
Most of the
recommendations of the summit were never carried out.
Douglas Mwonzora said the dismissal of applications by the Constitutional
Court to postpone elections would disenfranchise a lot of people
as the time for voter registration was limited.
He said the
MDC-T wanted elections pushed further to ensure reforms were implemented
before the elections.
reason why the MDC was seeking an extension was to allow Zimbabweans
to be allowed more time to register as voters as well as to make
sure that reforms which would have a bearing on the freeness and
fairness of the election were done,” said Mwonzora.
Zanu PF has
already ruled out the possibility of reforms before elections.
Agenda Trust (YAT), a local organisation that seeks to enhance
the qualitative participation of youth in the political and socio-economic
discourse of Zimbabwe, also expressed concern over biased coverage
of political parties by the State media.
note with dismay the unprofessional conduct of State media which
has failed to reform and has continued on a warpath with other political
parties that are not Zanu PF,” said YAT.
that until there is fair media coverage in the state media, there
is no credible election that we can talk about.”
YAT said it
was disappointed that Zanu PF continued to shield the security sector
from undergoing democratic transformation.
It said service
chiefs continue to undermine other principals to the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) other than Mugabe.
General Augustine Chihuri and Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander
General Constantine Chiwenga have said they will not allow anyone
without liberation credentials to rule the country.
that all individuals in the security sector remain answerable to
civilian authority and anyone who acts contrary to the dictates
of the people is not fit for public office,” said YAT. “We
therefore feel that unless there is security sector realignment,
there will be no free and fair elections to talk about.”
analyst Shakespear Hamauswa believes that if campaigning is done
in a free and fair environment, the reforms would not matter much.
reforms do they [MDCs] want in two weeks when they failed to implement
them in the past three year?” said Hamauswa.
political analyst, Dumisani Nkomo said going for elections without
enacting reforms was a slap in the face of Sadc, which has been
pushing for the changes to ensure free and fair elections.
undermines the credibility of the electoral process and the outcome,”
Mugabe on Friday
at the launch of his party’s manifesto attacked Sadc saying
Zimbabwe would walk out of the regional grouping if “it decides
to do stupid things”, a clear indication that the 89-year-old
leader has very little respect for the organisation.
In 2003, Mugabe
pulled the country out of the Commonwealth, protesting Zimbabwe’s
suspension from the group after an election widely seen as flawed.
Nkomo said Zanu
PF was pushing for early elections because it was banking on the
support of the security services.
quite a number of soldiers and police officers have been asked to
apply special votes which Zanu PF hopes to manipulate,” he
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